UWF’s Florida Public Archaeology Network awarded $99,968 grant from NOAA’s NERRS Science Collaborative
The Florida Public Archaeology Network, a program of the University of West Florida, has received a $99,968 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative. The grant funds the project “People of the Apalachicola Region: Exploring cultural heritage as a vector for ecosystem planning, management and adaptation.” The project aims to provide a more representative interpretation of heritage in the Apalachicola area; inform management decision-making for both heritage and environmental resources impacted by climate and human pressures; and guide future research into impacts and issues these resources may be facing.
“It was incredible to find out that the grant got funded,” said Nicole Grinnan, public archaeologist and interim executive director at FPAN. “The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve expressed a real need to us for more research into local heritage resources. Although we have worked with Reserve in the past, this project will serve to bolster our collaborative efforts and common goals. I’m excited that we’ve been given this amazing opportunity.”
Grinnan is the project lead and principal investigator and will work with UWF graduate student Bria Brooks, among other researchers from UWF and elsewhere. Grinnan’s team will explore the interaction between people and the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve environment and how they have interacted over time by encouraging participation in an online survey and community workshops in and around the Reserve.
“We want to find out how people value this heritage and bring more awareness to it,” Grinnan said. “The project will hopefully inspire people to learn more about history and archaeology in their area, encouraging them to become stewards of these places and preserve them in the long term.”
They will also seek to learn how climate change has impacted archaeological sites in the Apalachicola area over time and what the impact would be if those sites were lost. The team will use the integration of digital modeling and on the ground monitoring to learn what sites are most at risk of loss.
The project was one of 17 projects selected involving 27 Reserves across the nation and totaling more than $2 million awarded by NERRS. The project will span from Oct. 1, 2023 to Sept. 30, 2024.